Nola wants to know what the big deal is about hurricanes

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nola wasn’t here for Hurricane Katrina and, while Hurricane Gustav made her a little nervous, she doesn’t understand all the concern about hurricanes.

The worst thing about hurricanes, in Nola’s opinion, is that it’s too dark in the house with the plywood over the windows. Worse than that, she can’t see out of the windows.

I tried to explain to her about how Katrina howled outside those darkened windows for hours and all the damage it left behind.

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She shrugged and said she would help pick up all the sticks. She did help Genie clean up the backyard.

As soon as she saw Genie picking up small branches and stuffing them into a couple of old trash cans we have, she jumped right in, picking up small limbs and bringing them to Genie. Problem was, she didn’t want to just set them on the ground for Genie to put in the cans. She didn’t want to just let go when Genie put her hand on a stick Nola had in her mouth. Nola thought it was a good time to play tug-of-war.

After being ignored a few times, she did start putting the sticks down where Genie could transfer them to one of the cans.

I had already picked up the big stuff, such as it was this time. I hope it all gets picked up before the next storm moves in. I don’t want to see it flying around in the wind of a storm such as Hurricane Ike causing damage.

Yes, Ike is still on his way. The cone of error shows him going anywhere from Texas to Florida. Poor Florida may get lucky this time, though.

I don’t know about you, but I’m leaving my plywood up at least until after Ike has hit somewhere. I don’t like this Ike.

Nola asks who is Ike, and then informs me that she likes everybody.

She won’t hear a negative word about Ike. I tell her that if Ike hits here she may learn what the big deal is about hurricanes and if she does, she won’t like the lessons.

Nola gives me another one of those looks that have been patented by golden retrievers, the one that says humans worry too much, and goes off and lies down. It’s time for one her naps. She takes lots of naps. Basically, she napped through Gustav’s drive-by. If Ike pays us a visit, she’ll probably try to nap through that as well.

Ah, hurricane season. I guess it’s better than worrying about the fires that they worry about in California, or the earthquakes they worry about in California, or the tornadoes they worry about in the Midwest. Hurricanes generally come in a defined season, with the worst part of it for us being August and September.

Fire and tornadoes also seem to come in at least roughly defined seasons, but earthquakes can hit at any time.

I don’t know what is worse: fires, tornadoes, earthquakes or hurricanes. Of course, we have to worry about tornadoes, and for us, tornadoes can, and have, hit 12 months out of the year and not just in the spring as they mostly do in the Midwest.

Fires, especially the kind that have been roaring through the West in recent years; earthquakes and hurricanes hit widespread areas where tornadoes, at least individual ones, as devastating as they are, generally are much more confined in the area they affect.

Personally, I think any opinion on which one is the worst depends on which one, or ones, affect you personally.

All of them destroy your property, threaten your life and the lives of family and friends and leave you at the mercy of insurance companies and government.

There is little that is good about any of them. Making new friends and observing the kindness of strangers are about the only good things I can think of that might come out of any disaster.

For the moment, Gustav is past us, Ike is huffing and puffing and threatening to blow our houses down and the remainder of the hurricane season stretches out before.

I recommend being prepared but also thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas as much as possible to soothe the nerves. Those good days are just before us.